Blogless: Blog of Design Less Better.

Posts tagged Games.

The WikiGame

A creative repurposing of Wikipedia is the perfect distraction for a snowy holiday break: check out The WikiGame.

The WikiGame

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AndreaDec 29, 2010
 
Tagged with: Games, Wikipedia

Reverse Geocache Puzzle

By leaving out any kind of instructions for his Reverse Geocache Puzzle Box, Mikal Hart achieves a kind of minimalist experiential design, leaving plenty of room for imagination, chance, and discovery.

Here’s a much abbreviated version of the scenario:

Imagine receiving a little wooden box that looks like it holds a treasure. The box cannot be opened. There is a button on top and an LCD display. You press the button and the display reads, "This is attempt 1 of 50. Distance: 55km. *Access Denied* Powering off...". The next time you press the button, in a different location: "Attempt 2 of 50" and a different "Distance" reading. And so on, until you’ve figured out that the box, equipped with a GPS inside, is leading you to one specific location where the box can be opened and the treasure inside it claimed.

His full writeup is here.

Via Cultureby

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AndreaNov 10, 2010
 
Tagged with: Games, GPS, Maps, Minimalism, Puzzles

Joypad Evolution

The history of game controller design, visualized.

Steve Cable has created an nice infographic about the key design changes and innovation in game controller interfaces over time.

Joypad evolution

Getting this information together helped him make some neat observations about the design methodologies at Nintendo and Playstation.

Nintendo Controllers
Nintendo: Go big or go home

Nintendo takes a lot of risks: some work (the Wiimote), some don't (the Powerglove). Playstation plays it safer, making small changes to the design over time.

Interesting stuff. (Also make sure to check the comments for some debate about how good the research behind the graphic is.)

Take a look.

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PaulOct 22, 2010
 

Four Design Links:
May 20, 2010

Four Design Links is a review of the design- and ethics-related stories we've been reading online this week.

1. Display Myths Shattered

Everything you thought you knew about monitor specs and controls is wrong. Seriously.

2. Watch out for Cramming

This week, I learned about Cramming, which sounds a lot like the Opt-out schemes we've covered in the past. The scam depends on people not paying attention to false charges hidden in their phone bill. Except with cramming, you don't even have agree to anything! Read on...

3. The Lie of the Game Preview

Ars makes a valid point: When have you ever read a negative preview for a game? Never. Everything developers show journalists is tightly controlled. Of course it looks good!

4. Web Design Trends: 2010

Smashing Magazine published its annual list of the year's trends in web design. It's worth a look to see what's new (and what's tired).

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NickMay 20, 2010
 

Four Design Links: April 1, 2010

Four Design Links is a review of the design- and ethics-related stories we've been reading online this week.

1. Building a Better Estimate

Probably the best thing I read this week, business-wise. In this blog post, Andy Rutledge discusses how to improve one's job estimates.

The secret? Don't rush into it. Don't quote the client your ideal figure; get to know them first. Then, adjust up or down based on your perception of the relationship.

At DLB, I think we do a good job with our ideal estimates and we certainly take clients' differences into account as part of that calculation -- provided we get a second job with them. But for first-time clients, I can see the wisdom of resisting the urge to commit to an estimate too soon...

2. A Dream of a Well-Designed Credit Card Agreement

From TED blog, check out this simplified credit card agreement:

Alan Siegel's Redesigned Credit Card Agreement

A legible, good looking legal document? What a delightful dream (er, inspiration). Truly the stuff of TED.

3. Saving time for doing nothing

Bobulate

Lately, I've been enjoying Bobulate (read as: the opposite of discombobulate), a recent addition to my blog rotation. Great layout and content.

Liz, the author, references a great piece on the importance of keeping un-busy. Much of creativity --even productivity-- depends upon not working from time-to-time. When you're busiest may be when you need free time the most. It's something to keep in mind as the semester ends (for some of us).

4. Spy Party

Last, something else that caught my eye last week, Wired has a story detailing one of the most interesting game designs I've heard of in a while.

WIRED: SpyParty

Spy Party is a two player game where one person plays a spy in a party full of computer-controlled guests. The spy must perform several tasks while blending in with the AI. The other player is a sniper who observes the party and has only a single bullet with which to kill the spy.

Read the full description -- sounds intense.

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NickApr 1, 2010
 

Four Design Links: October 22, 2009

We're not trendy, but we are well-read. You can be, too: Four Design Links is trolling the interwebs so you don't have to.

1. Is Spec Work Ever Okay?

Threadless Website

Threadless is a popular t-shirt company who crowdsources its designs from user submissions. Chosen designs are awarded $2,500 with bonuses for reprints and a shot at a larger prize in a yearly "best-of" competition. But of course, the company might make a hundred times that in sales, which has led some to accuse it of basing its business on spec work.

Jake Nickell, CEO of Threadless, doesn't argue that he uses spec work, but he disagrees that what his company does is a bad thing. His argument is that Threadless submissions 1. Allow designers to keep their copyrights 2. Are an open process with no specifications (no brief) 3. Pay quite a bit. Most importantly, he says, people who submit to Threadless do it for enjoyment and not for the money.

I'm torn. On one hand, it doesn't answer the critics of spec work which argue for professional engagement-- that design is serious business which is not something to be farmed out on the cheap to amateurs. On the other, people who aren't designers like to make things and Threadless actually seems to give them a fair shake. I'm not sure what the breakdown is ethically. But if you're going to solicit spec work, I suppose there's a sea of people out there doing worse.

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NickOct 22, 2009
 

Evony

A chronological series of ads for an online game highlights the cheap advertising appeal of the misogyny strategy, and a blog post about it highlights its Achilles' Heel.

Coding Horror posted what just so happened to be an interesting follow-up to my post from last Monday later last week. Their post, How Not to Advertise on the Internet, is about the in-browser Civilization-style game Evony.

Jeff collected a series of advertisements for the game, and displayed them in chronological order. I've collected them from him and done the same below.

He's insistent that "these are real ads that were served on the internet. This is not a parody." Take a look:

Advertisements for Evony, in chronological order
Ads for Evony, in chronological order.

These ads are a perfect example of someone succombing to Seth's shortcut to cash when times are tough, and Jeff's blog post is itself yet another case substantiating DLB's first axiom: Be good, because when you're not, the Internet will call you on it.

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PaulJul 13, 2009
 

World of Goo(d)

Paul and I have been through a couple of busy weeks lately. Although we are not playing too many games these days, we’d like to share some love for one we enjoyed recently: World of Goo.

Developed by 2D Boy, a two-person team, World of Goo is a puzzle game with a simple mechanic—assembling minimal physics-simulated structures so your Goo-balls can exit the level, Lemmings-style. More than this, it has great production values (made with open source software!) and a lot of heart. If you’re in need of some fun, we encourage you to check out the demo.

World of Good is awesome.
Don’t just take our word for it. The critics totally dig the full game.

When you’re ready to take the plunge, you can purchase it on Steam (which we also like), or from WiiWare. ((I may go the Wii route over Christmas because I like waggle controls and it seems to be a bit more reasonably priced than the PC version ($15 vs. $20)))

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NickNov 13, 2008
 
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